A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. Unfortunately, many children in Somalia are still deprived of this. 4 in 100 Somali children die during the first month of life, 8 in 100 before their first birthday, and 1 in 8 before they turn five. This accounts for more than 60 percent of the under-five deaths in the country. In addition to this, one in 12 women die every year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy, especially because a majority of them could have been prevented.
More than 80 percent of newborn deaths are due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth, or infections such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and neonatal disorders. These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives and nurses during antenatal and postnatal visits and delivering at a health facility. Additionally, access to clean water, and disinfectants, handwashing, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition are proven solutions. Too often, these simple cost-effective interventions are out of reach of the mothers and babies who need them most.
Too often simple cost-effective interventions are out of reach of the mothers and babies who need them most.
Low immunization levels and inadequate access to quality healthcare and life-saving supplies erode children’s chances of surviving past infancy and developing to their full potential.
The health risks for children in emergencies are higher. Life-saving health services are often unobtainable or unreachable, making newborns, children, young people and mothers especially vulnerable to harm.